Antisocial Media

Anxious Labor in the Digital Economy

224 pages

January, 2018

ISBN: 9781479821907

$27

Paper

Add to Cart Available: 12/22/2017

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Author

Greg Goldberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Wesleyan University, and Affiliated Fellow at Yale University’s Information Society Project. His work has appeared in New Media & Society, WSQ, ephemera, and on the Huffington Post, and in the edited collections The Affective Turn and Rethinking the Innovation Economy.

All books by Greg Goldberg

The debate surrounding the transformation of work at the hands of digital technology and the anxieties brought forth by automation, the sharing economy, and the exploitation of leisure 
 
We have been told that digital technology is now threatening the workplace as we know it, that advances in computing and robotics will soon make human labor obsolete, that the sharing economy, exemplified by Uber and Airbnb, will degrade the few jobs that remain, and that the boundaries between work and play are collapsing as Facebook and Instagram infiltrate our free time.
 
In this timely critique, Greg Goldberg examines the fear that work is being eviscerated by digital technology. He argues that it is not actually the degradation or disappearance of work that is so troubling, but rather the underlying notion that society itself is under attack, and more specifically the bonds of responsibility on which social relations depend. Rather than rushing to the defense of the social, however, Goldberg instead imagines the appeal of refusing the hard work of being a responsible and productive member of society.
 
 

Reviews

  • Antisocial Media offers a bold analysis of anxieties about recent transformations in labor--facilitated by the so-called sharing or gig economy—as epistemic problems. Rooted in queer theory’s critiques of normativity, Goldberg’s polemical book has the potential to change the conversations about work in American studies, labor studies, and digital media studies by asking us to question the value of social relations themselves.”

    —Lucas Hilderbrand, author of Inherent Vice: Bootleg Histories of Videotape and Copyright

  • “Smart, perverse, disorienting—Antisocial Media resists a desire for 'the social' in pursuit of more surprising, and radical, connections. As a serious theorist and playful sociologist, Goldberg challenges readers to question the normative demand to work, and recognize the anxious affect structuring contemporary critiques of digitally-mediated shifts in labor and leisure. Rarely has queer thought risked being so irresponsible, and so insistently pleasurable.”

    —Jackie Orr, author of Panic Diaries: A Geneaology of Panic Disorder